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Moss advice?


17 Oct 2008
Thelwall, Warrington
I have had my nano up now for about 4 weeks and it has Utricularia graminifolia, Ceratopteris thalictroides and flame and christmas moss. The moss isnt verry green and dosent seem to be growing anymore, all the plants are growing quite well yet quite slowley. the tank is a 20L with 11w of light and has a small internal filter which came with the tank. i am using the fert that came with the tank as it says on the bottle and 0.5ml of excel per day. the water is the same as my main tank reminerlised RO water.

Is there anything i am missing and should i switch to my tropica PN+ fert instead of the stuff that came with the tank (the tank is a dennerle nano)

Any help is welcome
I am not adding any iron into the tank do you think this could be the problem? i dont want to use tap water because it is verry soft and acidic so i fear it will have a lot of copper in it which will kill my baby CRS!
Hi all,
I think you will just have to wait for your mosses to grow. I've found that in a tank without CO2 or nutrients that eventually they will grow very well, it just takes them a longer time to bulk up. You have to remember that bryophytes don't have any internal conductive tissue, and they are never going to show the same growth rates as vascular plants. I've got a very similar planting in my shrimp tank with Xmas, Java and Peacock mosses.

I've never grown Utricularia graminifolia (although I have grown other aquatic and "terrestrial" Utricularias (many of them are epiphytes)) and as far as I know all the Utricularias from very nutrient poor "oligotrophic" habitats, so I wouldn't expect them to show a great response to fertilization. I've read some suggestion that U. graminifolia is really a terrestrial species so it may need extra CO2 (and possibly doesn't respond very well to "excel"?).

Ceratopteris is plant which can grow in nutrient poor conditions (but much more slowly than with ferts.), and if it is floating or emergent it has the "aerial advantage", and CO2 or excel addition is irrelevant as it has access to atmospheric CO2.

A possibility is that light levels are a bit high for the mosses, I'd try a few more floating plants (I use Salvinia) and see if the mosses green up any (dark green leaves contain more chlorophyll, if you take "shade" and "sun" leaves from a clonal plant (we use "stinging nettle", Urtica dioica) the shade leaves will contain a lot more chlorophyll and be noticeably darker green).

Finally Iron is much more available in softer water, but you could use a chelated Iron (one containing "FeEDTA") source if you thinks this might be a problem (but I'd be surprised if it is).

cheers Darrel
I had a feeling there was too much light so i have some floating plants on the way. I use RO based water which may have next to no iron in it, i have easy life ferro for my main tank i will work out what i need and start adding it to this tank to elimnate any possiblities of this causing a problem.

Thanks for yor reply 🙂